Elder Braden McDonald has been called to serve in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission.

He will be returning on December 21, 2011 and will speak in Church on January 1, 2012.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Area (Written 31 January 2011)

How are you all doing?

I´m doing AMAZING!! I´m in an awesome new area (Zion) and I was so excited Monday night when we got the news around 11:30. I´m in Juiz de Fora now in an area called Manchester!! I have been wanting to serve here my entire mission so far!! This is where Elder Glade was serving right before we both got sent to Usina and he was always talking about how amazing it is here, and he was right!! The bishop is amazing and the ward members are so awesome and they leave with us to teach and help us out with everything we need pretty much!! It is incredible!!! I have been incredibly blessed to be here. I got two emails from President this week that I read today. He said basically,``New area, new companion, new calling. Let´s go to work! Congratulations! Stay happy! I love you.`` haha President is the coolest!! My new companion is Elder Clegg and he has about 9 months on the mission now. He´s from Pleasant Grove so now we have two Utahns here. Did you ever have a companion named Elder Clegg on the mission, Dad? He said his dad also served in the Ireland Dublin mission around when you served. That would be really funny. This week was good, just trying to get to know the area and the members and try to find more people to teach. We did a ton of street contacting this week, more than I´ve done until this point on the mission so far. It´s been really great here. Our house is amazing as well! We have a sweet spiral staircase that goes up to the roof where we have our washing machine and our sweet balcony that overlooks the city! It´s amazing here! It´s just the two of us in our house, so it´s really nice and quiet. I like it more than living with four, gets really hectic to get ready with only one shower. Our district leader is the coolest as well! Elder Fernandes, he´s hilarious. He looks exactly like the guy on twilight, the one who is the werewolf, Jacob? Makensie will know his name haha. He gets really annoyed because all of the girls that are here think the same thing and are always bugging him. Jacob! Jacob! It´s funny listening to him tell his stories. He is Brasilian but he grew up in Salt Lake with his mom who lives there, and now he´s back in Brasil for the mission. One of the few Brasilians that speaks fluent English and Português. He´s now worked with almost all of the Elders from Riverton, Elder Joseph, Elder Kunz, and now me. Today, the Zone Leaders called us up and we are going to play Risk at their house with our district, it will be great! Our zone is amazing! I have two Elders here that are from my district in the MTC, and I´m working with one of the Zone leaders, Elder Almeida, who was my zone leader in Volta Redonda, so it´s good to see him again, he´s awesome.

Last night we did divisions and I left with the Bishop to teach some less actives that he´s been wanting to visit, it was awesome! I talked to him a lot about the area and he told me about what he wanted us to do to help. He is incredible. He´s been Bishop here for 9 years now and he loves to leave with the missionaries and loves missionary work. He served in São Paulo and said that he had a companion named Elder McDonald as well, pretty funny. I am loving every part of this area so far; we just need to find people to teach and baptize now and it will be even better! I will have to send Elder Glade another email and tell him that I am now in his favorite area on the mission. He will be really happy I think!

This area is a lot cheaper. A LOT cheaper! I have hardly spent any money here so far. Maybe 30 reais. That´s been a blessing as well, because my last area was really expensive, with all the vans and buses. I haven´t gone to the bank at all this week.

Sounds like you´re new calling is going great mom! We´re both learning together now and both have a lot more challenges. I´m trying to get to know everyone as well, plan everything out, and do all the great stuff that comes along with that as well. Both learning together now haha. I met an awesome less active guy last night and he has the nicest house I´ve ever seen here! He lives in a Private community, kind of like a cabin here, and he´s a really awesome guy! I have met a lot of awesome people here already! We also visited another guy on Saturday who has been less active for a while now, and we got him to go to church yesterday, it was amazing! He really likes the missionaries. He was showing us pictures of his family and stuff and he had pictures with Elder Glade and other Elders that passed through here, it was funny to see.

How is the weather there now? Here it is a lot less hot than it was in Rio, there in the center. It´s been really nice. I got an email today from Luciana as well and she said that her and her family are sad that I left haha but they said that they got the package that you sent them and are really grateful and that she loved the pictures that you sent her. I do miss the members that were there in Galeão; they were amazing! At least I left my address with most of them that I wanted to, so that was good.

Well, I can´t think of anything else to tell you guys! I´m staying really busy here and this week was the fastest week on the mission so far! I can´t believe that January is already over! Pretty crazy! Here in a little bit, I will only have 10 months left, that´s so weird. I´m loving this area and this work keeps getting better everyday! My companion is awesome and we are both working are tails off here!! I´m praying that the Lord with bless us with success if we just keep sacrificing more and do everything that we can! I love the mission! I love all of you! I hope that you all have an amazing week!

Love, Elder McDonald

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